Tuesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that it had awarded a $150,000 grant to Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Selma.
The grant, which was awarded from the organization’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, will address termite and water issues. Additionally, the funds will be utilized to replace the tower cupolas’ structural beams.
The church, designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1998, routinely served as a location where civil rights leaders would organize events to draw attention to racial injustices.
In 1965, the church cemented its place in history as it played an integral role in the events that occurred on “Bloody Sunday.”
Civil rights protesters, including former U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), gathered at the church to prepare for a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery advocating for voting rights.
The group, which consisted of nearly 600 protesters, was stopped at Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers. The law enforcement officers proceeded to unleash brutality upon the peaceful marchers.
The event would serve as inspiration for Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was signed into law by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson.
More information about the historic Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church can be found here.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL